Honestly by far the biggest story of the week was the final stage of the Giro della Toscana, and the rider protest so we take a detailed and quite angry look into what led up to it and once we’re on a ranty roll, well we keep going! Which means we launch into exactly why Brian Cookson’s words about his track record of promoting women’s cycling in Britain leave us scratching our heads a little (Dan translates for Sarah’s edification). Also somewhere along the way Dan coins the phrase “morality stumble” – we’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s a stumble into, or out of, morality. And in an attempt to finish the show before Sarah actually does need medical assistance we quickly mention a few of the good stories we’ve seen during the week. Prepare to gnash your teeth! (1:07:17 MIN / 64.56 MB)
(In fact this week’s podcast is SO ranty that Sarah especially requested I find a soothing music video for you in case of emergencies, so here’s a rather splendid cello cover of Metallica’s ‘The Day That Never Comes’ which sort of seems appropriate)
Things we talked about this week
Things that made us angry
The Giro Toscana
All Sarah’s stories on the Giro Toscana, in one place, on Podium Café – and things you should read:
- ORICA-AIS DS Marv Barras’ words after the Prologue, which started “I swore I wasn’t going to get upset at any point this week”…..
- His combined Stage 1 & Stage 2 report, on the traffic and chaos
- CJ Farquharson’s statement on the crash caused by a camerawoman in Stage 2 – bear in mind CJ is a very experienced photographer, so she knows how this should work.
- Marv’s description of how the rider protest came about (deep breathing) and CJ’s report.
- For a reminder of last year’s Toscana protest, here’s CJ’s report from then.
- And for a reminder of other safety issues this year, the Vuelta El Salvador (warning, the video is disturbing), things from Energiewacht Tour Stage 1 (including the organisers’ apology), and why Boels Dolmans and Rabobank also pulled out of the Tour de Languedoc Roussillon in protest.
Sarah wrote about his blog of 13/9/13 – but then we saw this interview with him in the Guardian… including how he responded to criticisms of British Cycling from some of the most impressive British women riders.
“Nicole has her point-of-view on lots of things and she didn’t always see eye-to-eye with British Cycling,” Cookson says. “But we went out of our way to support her in the best way we could. Elite athletes are interesting, aren’t they? They have personalities that are sometimes difficult to handle – and Nicole is one of those people who has a particular view of things which she’s absolutely entitled to.”
It’s disconcerting how many other prominent women – Victoria Pendleton, Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armitstead – have also criticised British Cycling. “That’s true. But if you speak to Laura Trott or Jo Rowsell you’ll hear another view.”
(He says “performance advice” played a part in the decision not to start a women’s Team Sky. Here’s how some of the British women performed in 2008 and 2009, when Sky was being planned: Nicole Cooke in 2008 and 2009, Emma Pooley in 2008 and 2009, Lizzie Armitstead in 2009 (she was a trackie in 2008), and Sharon Laws in 2008 (she had time out because of injuries, and focused on MTB for 2009). If you’re not familiar with women’s races, the women’s Grand Tours were the Grand Boucle, Tour de l’Aude and Giro Donne, and CDM means World Cup – those, with the World and Olympic Champs are the biggest and most prestigious races.)
Of course, the women’s road riders actually are treated really well in comparison with Para-cyclists who race on the track. Sarah wrote about this, too.
One thing that is so frustrating, as cycling fans, is that we have no way of making our voices heard in trying to make a change. Sarah has emailed the UCI to ask questions about Toscana twice, and has had no reply. If any of you read this and have any idea how we can try to get our questions about Toscana answered, or how we can ask Qs about things like Para-cycling, please can you let us know, at prowomenscycling [at] gmail [com] or in the comments. We know we’re not “real” media, but we love this sport and want to do our bit to try to make things better.
One thing Dan forgot to mention in the show is that Karl Lima from Hitec tweeted that he missed Ina’s presence in the peloton to talk some sense into everyone:
I see team Tibco “wins” Toscana. Its on my mail. Really missed Ina to talk some sense in the right language today.
— Karl Lima (@Karl_Lima_Hitec) September 15, 2013
We took a moment to imagine how that might have looked:
It hasn’t been all bad. We didn’t get around to talking about any of this, but….
Things we loved this week
The MTB World Cup in Hafjell had some fantastic racing, and even better photography than normal, and that’s saying something. Sarah was entranced by the DH photos, with light streaking through trees, and riders performing miraculous feats. Here are all the videos and links we found – and we loved this description of MTB riders – yes! Exactly this!
Cycling is amazing
Then I died on my bike and dropped through the peloton like a stone in water. I have always been annoyed when “ lead out girls” drop through the peloton like a parked car when the sprints starts, but now I was that girl. When I rode (or rolled) over the finish line and saw Chloe celebrate I was so proud of her and us, the whole team. We won a stage in Holland Ladies tour and we did it because we rode a great race together. Yesterday Chloe helped me and today I was able to pull the sprint for her, amazing team feeling! That evening we celebrated the team’s first ever victory in Holland Ladies Tour with a delicious cake on the team meeting. Oh yes, we deserved those calories.
Helen Wyman started her campaign to steal the USA trophies with two wins at Green Mountain CX. Check out the best podium ever – made of bike wheels! in the Cyclcocross Magazine report. Here are Helen’s video diaries after Green Mountain day 1 and day 2
(Sarah loved the description of Arley Kemmerer’s win at Nittany from CX Mag – great start to the race!)
Road racing this week
Here are two videos from Team Munster’s perspectives:
Big congratulations to Olivia Dillon for winning the race!
Do you know any women in Australia who’s like to apply to be part of the Endurance Cycling Programme? Send them this!
Dan says apparently only 4 women have entered the Gold Coast Criterium on 28th September run by Robbie McEwen – if you know anyone who could enter, send them the details!
Are you in the USA?
Check out the great Toscana 2013 website, and follow their twitter. The tv coverage will vary per country, and there’ll be a ton of streams, but some people can watch it all live on the UCI Youtube. They’ll be streamed on these links – click to see if it’ll be geo-restricted for you
- Women’s and Men’s Team Time Trial, 22nd September 2013
- Women’s Individual Time Trial, 24th September 2013
- Women’s Road Race, 28th September 2013
If you want to see how they’re shown on TV in your area,
here’s the international broadcasting schedule (scroll down – UK is still “to be arranged” – here’s what Road.cc says will be shown) – UPDATE!! Now it’s here, with more details – great for us in the UK! and of course, there’ll be pirates Robin Hood-ing it for us!
Who’ll win the TTT? Our bet! Here’s GCN’s fly-through of the course:
Yes, by now you know the drill – live on Red Bull, have a look at Dirt Magazine and Pinkbike and Red Bull Bike for fun things in the run-up and post-race – and to find out more about 4X, watch this video from their last World Series event. Here’s the Dirt preview with a whole stack of great information.
As ever, click through the links for the streams (count-down to the start, so you can check times in your timezone)